When my family (the youngest member being 22-years-old) decided to go on a Disney Cruise for Christmas, I was excited but also a little worried. We are avid cruisers and love doing so, but I had no clue what we would do onboard. After all, isn’t Disney Cruise Line geared towards families with small children? We ended up having a great time and learned that there are lots of things for adults to do on a Disney Cruise–it’s most definitely not just for families with little kids.
While Disney Cruise Line offers typical cruise activities for adults, like bars, trivia, a spa, and live stage shows, Disney takes them to a whole new level.
Here are 15 things for adults to do on a Disney Cruise.
#1 Spend Time at the Quiet Cove Pool
Let’s start our list of things for adults to do on a Disney Cruise with my favorite activity: spending time at the Quiet Cove Pool. This onboard adults-only oasis is home to a pool, whirlpool spas, and bar. The padded lounge chairs are perfect for reading a book, taking a nap, or just relaxing. If you skip a cruise port and stay on the boat, you can often have the Quiet Cove Pool all to yourself, like we did.
#2 Treat Yourself to a Spa Day
The Senses Salon and Spa is a retreat at sea. Choose from a variety of Spa Treatments (massages, body wraps, facials, aromatherapy, teeth whitening) and Salon Services (manicures, pedicures, hair styling, men’s grooming) to pamper yourself with. Senses also have steam rooms and a sauna.
Spa appointments can be booked online, or once you get onboard.
Note: The women’s relaxation room is underneath the sports court on the Disney Magic. We spent about an hour listening to the sound of basketballs dribbling above us.
#3 Participate in Adult-Only Cruise Activities
Disney doesn’t just have entertaining children down. There are lots of activities for adults every day with your own Adult Activities Director: Bingo, bridge, volleyball, trivia (and lots of it!), karaoke, dancing, crafts, and interactive game shows. Take advantage of these offerings; they are a lot of fun, and you might make some friends!
#4 Take a Class
Beverage tastings are plentiful on Disney Cruise Line! You can try Amari, Beer, Bourbon, Champagne, Chocolate and Liquor, Cognac, Martinis, Mojitos, Rum, Wine, Tequila and Margaritas, or Whiskey. Take your beverage tasting one step further by making the drinks yourself in a Mixology class.
Another popular class onboard is The Art of Entertaining. Learn how to host the perfect party, from entertaining and creating a menu to designing professional-looking invitations.
Classes vary depending on the ship and itinerary, so check your Disney Cruise Line portal to see what is offered during your cruise. These are great things for adults to do on a Disney Cruise!
Tip: Book these classes online ahead of time; many will sell out.
#5 Get Active
All four Disney Cruise ships have fully loaded workout facilities with cardiovascular equipment, weight machines, and group exercise classes (pilates, aerobics, and yoga).
If your itinerary takes you to Castaway Cay (Disney’s private island in the Bahamas), participate in the Castaway Cay 5K. This 3.1-mile trek will take you around the island to parts you probably wouldn’t have seen otherwise. The 5K is free, great for all fitness levels (you can run or walk it!), and all participants receive a medal at the end.
You can sign up for the Castaway Cay 5K at Guest Services.
#6 Spend Time in the Entertainment District/After Hours
Each Disney ship has an area full of bars and lounges. At night, this space becomes adults-only. Whether you want to sit back and listen to live music or drink a cocktail under a disco ball, there is something for all adults to do on a Disney Cruise of the evening.
The five sophisticated bars and lounges that make up The District on the Disney Dream are all interconnected: District Lounge (piano bar), Evolution (nightclub), Pink: Wine and Champagne Bar, Skyline (city skyline views change daily), and Pub 687.
The Fantasy‘s Europa area is made up of five hangout spots modeled after European nightclubs: La Piazza (inspired by the cities of Italy), O’Gill’s Pub, Ooh La La (Champagne bar), The Tube (dance club), and Skyline.
The Magic has just three bars, collectively called After Hours. They are modeled after a bustling city’s entertainment district: Keys (piano bar), O’Gill’s Pub, and Fathoms (underwater themed club with changing atmosphere).
After Hours is also the name of the Wonder‘s lounge area: Cadillac Lounge (piano bar), Azure (nightclub), and Crown & Fin (pub).
#7 Indulge in Signature Dining
A great thing for adults to do on a Disney Cruise is to indulge in fine dining. All four Disney Cruise ships have the restaurant Palo, serving exquisite Italian cuisine. Palo is elegant but has a relaxed atmosphere and a fantastic ocean view. Dinner is served from 6 to 9 PM, but I recommend making your reservation as close to 6 as you can get to watch the sunset. There is a $30 surcharge per person to dine here and a dress code (men: pants or slacks with a collared shirt, women: shirt or pants with a blouse).
If you are cruising on the Disney Dream or Fantasy, head to Remy for the ultimate dining experience. This French-inspired restaurant uses ingredients from around the world to prepare your dinner of 8 or 9 small courses. The surcharge for dining at Remy is $95 per person, and there is a dress code (men: tuxedo or jacket with dress pants, women: cocktail dress, pants suit, or skirt and blouse).
You must be at least 18-years-old to dine at Palo or Remy.
Note: A reservation is needed to dine at both of these restaurants. Book them on the Disney Cruise Line website or once you get onboard. If you do not show up for your reservation, you will be charged a cancellation fee.
#8 Get a Photo with Mickey
What better way to document your Disney Cruise than a picture with Mickey Mouse himself? Mickey will make several appearances during your cruise, each time in a different outfit. Whether you get a picture with him once or five times, take advantage of the short photo lines onboard.
#9 Enjoy An Adult-Only Port Adventure
Almost all Disney Cruise itineraries include adult-only excursions. There will be a note under the Port Adventures listing that it is adults-only. Trips range from rum tours to snorkeling and cabana massages to touring historical sites.
Check the Disney Cruise Line website or ask someone at the Port Adventures desk when you get onboard which excursions are only available to adults.
#10 See Broadway-Style Shows
Disney Cruise Line’s live stage shows could be on Broadway–they are that good! The music, costumes, and sets are pretty phenomenal, especially for a cruise. Each ship has different productions:
Dream: Disney’s Believe (story of a busy father who reconnects with his daughter with the help of a little Disney magic), The Golden Mickeys (a tribute to Walt Disney films, featuring a few characters you don’t see very often), and Beauty and the Beast.
Fantasy: Disney’s Believe Disney Wishes (three friends celebrating their High School graduation at Disneyland), and Disney’s Aladdin-A Musical Spectacular.
Magic: Tangled: The Musical, Disney Dreams (musical about the power of dreams and family), and Twice Charmed, An Original Twist on the Cinderella Story.
Wonder: The Golden Mickeys, Disney Dreams, and Frozen, A Musical Spectacular.
I recommend seeing the shows, even if you typically skip them. If you don’t feel like getting dressed and going to the Walt Disney Theater, you can watch them on TV in your stateroom.
#12 Admire the Ship’s Decor
The intricacy of the ship’s decor will blow you away! I have sailed with several different cruise lines, and Disney takes the cake for the most elaborate decor. Stop and admire all of the beautiful architecture and details throughout the ship. It’s truly Walt Disney Imagineering at its best!
#12 Watch Your Favorite Sporting Event
You can find current sporting events on TV throughout the ship. Whether you want to watch a football, hockey, or basketball game, chances are you can find it playing in a bar onboard.
#13 Celebrate the Holidays
Did you know that you could sail on a holiday-themed cruise? Disney Cruise Line offers Halloween on the High Seas, Thanksgiving at Sea, Very Merrytime Cruises, and New Year’s Eve celebrations.
The only thing that’s more fun than a Disney Cruise is a holiday-themed Disney Cruise!
#14 Watch First-Run Movies
The state-of-the-art Buena Vista Theater will show a variety of first-run movies during your cruise. You don’t need a ticket; you just show up at the scheduled time. Thor: Ragnarok, A Wrinkle In Time, Black Panther, The Incredibles 2, Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Avengers: Infinity War, and Coco are among the movies that the Buena Vista Theater has shown.
#15 Relax at a Private Oasis
Serenity Bay is an adults-only oasis on Castaway Cay, Disney’s private island in the Bahamas. If your cruise itinerary takes you to Castaway Cay, opt to spend your day at this peaceful beach. Whether you want to relax, engage in water activities, listen to live music or have a drink at the Open Air Bar, adults will love spending time at Serenity Bay.
Misconceptions about Disney Cruise Line
Contrary to popular belief, there aren’t kids everywhere. While you will encounter children, the majority of them are very well behaved. Plus, the kid’s clubs onboard are fantastic, and most children choose to spend a large portion of their vacation there. Out of sight, out of mind!
While the ship is themed around Disney, it’s not in your face. Yes, the dining rooms and live show productions (among other things) are modeled after Disney movies. Still, it’s not like Goofy is going to come and sit beside you, or you have to spend the entirety of your vacation watching Frozen over and over. Although the adult nightlife areas have Disney ties, it provides an escape from a “Disney vacation”.
Disney Cruise Line is not just for families with small children. My family went on a Disney Cruise for Christmas last year, and we had a blast (the youngest family member is 22-years-old). There was more than enough to keep all of us entertained while still allowing us to spend some quality family time together. Disney Cruises are definitely for families of all ages!
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